Nunatsiaq News: Federal government promises more info on harvesters grant this winter

Nunatsiaq News: Federal government promises more info on harvesters grant this winter

 In QIA in the News

Under its Nutrition North Canada program, the federal government is including support for country food and the harvesters who make it available.

But the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs has not said how the grant will be doled out, whether to individual harvesters or through local hunters and trappers organizations and land claim beneficiary organizations.

More information on that will be made available in the coming months, according to the department.

The harvesters support grant was first announced as part of the fall economic statement in November 2018, and in the government’s latest announcement about the Nutrition North Canada by Yvonne Jones, parliamentary secretary to the minister of intergovernmental and northern affairs and internal trade, it was confirmed the program would be in place this winter.

Currently, Inuit land claim beneficiary organizations distribute grants for harvesting, and those organizations have been involved in the development process for Nutrition North Canada and the federal harvesters support grant.

This spring, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association voiced concerns over the lack of support for six Inuit Guardians in Arctic Bay who play an important role in harvesting food for their communities.

QIA had hired them as part of a pilot program related to the creation of the Tallurutiup Imanga marine protected area.

“There is no basic infrastructure for the Nauttiqsuqtiit to do their job,” the QIA report said.

“They have no facility to process the animals they harvest or to maintain their equipment. Like everyone else in Arctic Bay, they have no small-craft harbour or port to safely cast off and anchor boats.”

This summer, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Iqaluit and Arctic Bay to announce the completion of an Inuit impact and benefit agreement for the Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area, the deal included financial support for country food harvesting.

The IIBA signed on Aug. 1 allots $190 million over seven years to the five closest communities to the protected area—Grise Fiord, Resolute Bay, Arctic Bay, Pond Inlet and Clyde River—to develop infrastructure such community harbours and country food processing facilities.

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